Tesla Introduces A Touchscreen Gear Shift

By Doug Norrie | 2 weeks ago


Tesla has long since made it part of their core operating procedure to innovate the way people think about and interact with cars. Basically from the first time they put a car out there for the public, it was obvious Elon Musk and company had little trouble deviating from conventional norms around automobiles. Heck, they wanted to start by making sure gas wasn’t involved in any way. While they weren’t at the forefront of that innovation, they are now taking control of the landscape. And they are changing other things about cars as well. Recently, the company unveiled the new way Tesla drivers will shift gears. Forgot about that standard gear shift stick. Tesla has other ideas. 

With the rollout of new Model S and Model X versions of Tesla, they also showed the new way drivers would go about shifting gears while on the fly. Gone are the days of clunky middle seat gear shifts or steering wheel protuberances. No, now in the new versions of these Tesla models you’ll simply be able to use a touch screen to shift gears. 

Through the Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley Twitter account, we can see a little sneak peek at what this new version of gear-shifting is going to look like. Check out how a driver will now let the car know which way he/she wants to drive. 

As you can see, the new Tesla gear shift technology is going to have the user simply dragging an icon on the car’s touchscreen in order to indicate which direction they’d like the car to go. It’s a manual override for the current system but still looks incredibly easy and intuitive to use. Only because we are stuck with decades on decades of the “old way” of doing things when it comes to cars does this seem even a little weird. When we consider that most cars are just massive electronic systems now, making this a touchscreen application rather than a physical move makes total sense. 

Considering all new makes of Tesla cars have an autopilot feature built into them already, even this touchscreen functionality might go the way of the dinosaur anyway. It doesn’t seem like it will be that long before the car is making all of the decisions anyway with this simply being an override in case the driver wants to go “old school”. It’s not totally clear when this functionality will hit the market but it’s apparently being attached to the 2021 versions of the Model X and S. So sooner than later is the bet. 


From rectangular steering wheels to moving away with dashboards to just being able to get out of gas completely, Tesla continues to push the limits of how cars are produced while calling into question features that had just been around forever. This is just the latest example. And soon you’ll be able to shift your car with just the swipe of a finger. And even that will feel like too much one day. Heck, this is the future after all. 

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